Network for Electricity Consumers Advocacy of Nigeria (NECAN) has said many electricity consumers metered by the power distribution companies (DisCos) are still on estimated billing plan, expressing concern that a large number of electricity consumers are yet to be metered, despite government intervention in the national meter supply programme.
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), recently announced that it has released N14.35 billion for procurement of 263,860 meters for distribution to electricity consumers.
In a telephone chat with LEADERSHIP at the weekend, NECAN’s national secretary and leading consultant on electricity matters Uket Obanga said the entire metering process and figures being fed to the public in terms of meters supplied and installed in recent times are questionable.
“The metering itself has a question mark on it. If you go to some DisCos, particularly in the South-South and South-West, majority of the so-called metered customers are on these old analogue NEPA meters which are not functional.
“Take a state like Cross Rivers for instance, our findings showed that out of the 18 LGAS, about 15 have not seen a prepaid meter. In most of the places where they claimed to have metered; the people are on the dysfunctional analogue device that are not being read by anybody, meaning those customers are still on estimated billing; same thing in Delta and some few other states.
“So when talking about the population already metered and you are including these ones with dysfunctional analogue meters, then it can’t be correct because they are still on estimated billing,” he said.
Spokesperson of the DisCos, Sunday Oduntan said there was no truth in the allegations raised by Obanga. Oduntan said the DisCos never included the number of consumers with the old analogue meters in their list of metered customers.
“The DisCos each has a record of such people who have analogue meters and count them as customers without meters and that is why they are on estimated billing pending when they would be given the smart meters. So when you hear that this population of customers have been metered in a particular place; it is those who have prepaid meters installed for them,” he said.
Oduntan said the ongoing mass metering is an initiative of the federal government, and the DisCos would be shortchanging themselves by allowing those on analogue to continue paying estimated bills, claiming they have metered them, so such allegations are unfounded.